Parents are the Most Distracted Drivers in Asia Pacific

How often have you seen a family seated together for a meal and their mobile phones take centrestage? It is a habit that has been allowed...


How often have you seen a family seated together for a meal and their mobile phones take centrestage? It is a habit that has been allowed to prevail. This addiction to consume content from the phone rather than interact with our surroundings is hazardous. When it comes to driving, it can prove fatal.

Parents are in a position to have this habit curtailed, but a survey* conducted by Ford Motor Company recently of drivers across Asia Pacific has found that the most distracted group of drivers are parents. The survey was conducted to provide data to help further understand distracted driving behavior and attitudes. 

These distracted driving figures were attributed to distracted dads:
  • making or receiving a call or text (41%)
  • using social media (27%) 
  • reading or watching something (26%)
As for mothers, 40% said they were distracted because of another passenger in the car—a wailing infant or restless kids.

Over 1.25 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes, and between 20 and 50 million more suffer non-fatal injuries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Reaction time when braking, reacting to traffic signals, difficulty keeping in the correct lane and also keeping distance drop significantly when a mobile phone is being used. Apart from mobile phone usage being the foremost cause of distraction, having another passenger in the car and applying makeup also adds to this statistic.

The reasons people gave for using their mobile phones were:
  • taking calls from friends or family (62 %) 
  • being stuck in traffic or at a stoplight (59 %) 
  • answering work calls or emails (46 %) 
  • boredom, millennials (25%) & parents (17%) 
  • millennial females have either taken a photo or selfie citing boredom (22%) 

​In light of this, Ford has developed advanced technologies to avoid distraction—ie. the SYNC 3. It is the automaker’s innovative in-car connectivity system, allowing drivers to use their voice to make a call, hear a text, listen to music and activate apps, all while keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

“Ford is committed to helping raise awareness of road safety and educating drivers on safe driving practices,” said Cynthia Williams, Director, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering, Ford Asia Pacific. “Phones are a great distraction normally, but behind the wheel they can be life threatening.”

Ford’s Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) corporate social responsibility programme offers free driver training classes, including for young drivers, expectant mothers and Uber drivers. Already in its tenth year, it will grow to cover 11 markets across Asia Pacific

“Today, people want to stay connected to family, friends and colleagues, even while they’re commuting,” said Williams. “That’s where technology can help reduce driver distractions and why Ford promotes responsible driving habits to keep the roads safer for everyone.”

*The online survey was conducted by GlobalWebIndex in May 2017 on behalf of Ford Motor Company, and included 4000 respondents from Asia Pacific.


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